Spotlight #7: Events, Relics, and Landmarks
Greetings once again gateport jumpers!
Welcome to the 1st of TWO Spotlights today.
"But Ghillie, that's...more than one!"
Correct. You may not want to believe it, but we're afraid you'll have to. We have two different sets of information we want to get out today, and the topics are varied enough that we're splitting them into separate updates. Call us crazy. Call us spammers. Call us whatever you want frankly, but this is how we're rolling today. The Spotlight tonight (which will hit somewhere right around the 48 hour mark) will be taking a look at the many different Add-ons available for Cloudspire. Right now, however, we're finally offering you a deep dive on three things that are integral to adding unpredictability into Cloudspire: Events, Relics, and Landmarks (previously referred to as perhaps the blandest possible title, "Points of Interest").
The Main Event
The Event Phase is meant to set to the tone for the wave at hand. While it's pretty easy to come up with really simple ideas for these Events (+1 Source for everybody, etc), we're pushing to make every event go well beyond those simple parameters. Events give us opportunities to bend and break the rules, and if you've played Too Many Bones, you know that's one of our absolute most favorite things to do.
Most events will introduce some sort of small task, negotiation, or challenge that will affect (sometimes in drastic ways, other times in minor ways) how you need to approach your units and strategies within the game. Heroes may have something they need to do. Your Spires may suffer significant damage, or receive a significant buff. Major risk/reward factors may be introduced. In short, we want to build a solid cache of events that are constantly surprising players, keeping them on their toes, and keeping anyone at the table from ever feeling overconfident in their plans. Take a peek at some examples below. Artwork and graphic design on these are not yet final. You can download the file here for easier reading.
The Relic Deck
One of the reasons we've been a bit quiet on relics is that they are rapidly evolving, to the point that in the end, the name of the relic deck may end up changing altogether.
Relics began as single use/quite powerful items. Clearing a Landmark sometimes offers you a free Spire, so relics needed to feel close to as helpful, which is no easy task. But simply offering powerful items has been done before, and we wanted something more dynamic and interesting - so we've introduced side quests into the relic deck.
Side quests introduce new goals to the game while offering up even more impressive rewards. This gives other players an opportunity to potentially thwart your plans, but doing so may force them to alter their plans simply to try to shut you down. Play the side quest and earn the reward, or play the side quest and feign interest in completing it while you make a charge for the enemy gates. Side quests might even be thought of as mini-events, with rewards only available to a single player, but still affecting the flow of gameplay in a significant way. Take a peek at a few examples of some of the current Relics you may come across. You can download this file here for easier reading.
Ankar is an interesting and dangerous place to explore. Since The Joining, pieces of civilization have collapsed, making many interesting locations precarious to traverse. Thus far in the gameplay videos we've shown, you've seen the Traxxar, Bug 1 (now a Thoraxx) and Bug 2 (now a...well...still a Bug 2 for now :-P), but Landmarks are meant to be so much more dynamic than some NPC's to fight. Artwork on many of these is still pending, but allow us to show you a few of the interesting things going into landmarks.
We're still playing with how many types of landmarks there will be. Right now we want each type to offer themed similarities. ie: if you explore a swamp, you're probably going to run into some sort of angry creature. If you explore a temple, you're likely going to discover some dark rituals and unsettling fanatics. Checking out a glade? Well you may not have much to worry about in the form of retaliation, but there may be some other obstacle in your way.
With the above said, we also don't want landmarks to become predictable, so it's worth noting that we may go to a uniform backing on all of them to truly make them unpredictable. There's benefits to both approaches, and as we get further and further into intense playtesting, we'll be making a call on our final approach. Themed backs would allow us to roll out brand new "locations" with new types of themes, and create some easy to sort mashups where only certain types of landmarks are in play. Stay tuned, we'll have more to say on this as we move forward :-) Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. You can download this picture here for easier reading.
Alright! There you have it folks! At long last you've seen the sorts of unpredictable craziness the land of Ankar might throw at you when you least expect it. But we're not done yet!
Later tonight you'll be seeing an update with as much information as we can provide about all the available purchasable add-ons. You'll likely also get a 48 hour countdown email at 9:00 Central tonight. We apologize and have no intention of spamming you, but given the criticism of the early campaign, we're erring on the side of way too much information as opposed to sparing your inbox from updates.
Thanks again for all the positive feedback on last night's update. We're busting our tails over here to give you every ounce of information we have. We hope it's only serving to further your hype for this game and world.
And hey! USA people! Don't forget to vote!
Josh, Adam, and Josh (Ghillie)